By: Merilyn E. Ulrich,
Contributing Editor/Senior Staff Writer
The Hair Society
It is the purpose of the Hair Society to educate, inform, contribute and benefit the Hair Restoration Industry in all ways, at all times. Therefore, I want to tell our members about an amazing experience that encompassed all of the above and met and exceeded our goals to benefit our community of Hair Professionals.
On Monday, May 4th The Hair Society attended a one day event presented by HairUWear, held in their headquarters (for the first time), in Lenexa, Kansas. The event lasted from 8:00 am in the morning to 5:00 pm in the afternoon and the following article will try to do justice to an unprecedented experience that we will never forget and hope to continue to be a part of. We also encourage everyone to attend HairUWear’s On The Road Seminars whenever possible. The benefits are many and the presentation was done with care, thoughtfulness and the sole purpose of educating the industry and making it stronger and more successful in every aspect. From product lines to marketing and customer service; this event exceeded all of our expectations.
What you will find is a history rich with innovation and success:
“History. Does it matter? Well, we believe so. And you probably do too since you chose to read this section. There are a lot of new companies in the extension category and we think it does matter that you do business with a company who has a solid past, a pattern of innovation and growth, and a dedication to the future. So if it matters to you, read on.
HairUWear Inc., has a storied legacy in the hair goods market. Founded in 1969 as Eva Gabor International, the company was a trailblazer in the wig and hairpiece industry. No stranger to glamour, Eva’s familiarity with wigs and hairpieces from her days on studio sets provided the company a valuable perspective on quality, comfort and beauty. Before 1971, wig fibers were attached to a cap that was stiff, hot and uncomfortable. In 1971, Eva Gabor International created and introduced Capless Wigs® which did away with the stiff look and the hot, sticky feel of cap wigs.
Fibers were now attached to bands of lace which shaped to the head and allowed the circulation of air. As the company grew and expanded into broader categories, they became the exclusive USA distributor for Great Lengths hair extensions and added more brands such as the Raquel Welch Signature Collection.
In 2013, the development of the HairUWear Professional brand began. It was born from beauty professionals requesting top of the line hair goods available only to them; licensed cosmetologists. HairUWear was uniquely qualified to answer that request with products whose innovative designs and high-quality deliver the performance and style that stylists need. The vision of today’s beauty professionals continues to inspire them. And they continue to empower professionals as they provide their clients the products they deserve.”
To add to this history is the timeline of the products carried by HairUWear:
- 1968: Introduction of the Gabor Collection
- 1991: Introduction of the Raquel Welch Collection
- 1999: Pop Collection
- 2006: Hairdo Collection
- 2010: “Dancing With The Stars” Collection
- 2013: Raquel Welch Grand Collection
- 2014: HairUWear Professional
American Hairlines is also a part of the HairUWear family of brands which consists of:
- Virtual Reality for men
- Virtuesse for Women
Yet another incredible brand of the HairUWear family of brands is: Great Lengths
Yet another benefit of visiting the HairUWear website is the ability to locate all establishments where their services are offered by simply entering your zip code.
As we arrived at the HairUWear headquarters where the one day seminar was to take place, we immediately noticed that there was a packed house. One had the sense that we were about to participate in a very big event. The room was highly organized, and well planned. We were greeted by an incredibly gracious and welcoming staff.
As members of The Hair Society made our way around the room we learned very quickly how far some attendees had traveled to attend this important training program. There was definitely excitement in the air and a sense of what was to come. We were not disappointed!
As our training day began, we were introduced to Director of Education, Shows and Events, Sheldon Tuttle who along with the staff of educators talked about the history of the HairUWear Brand, the timeline of the company and it’s many other Brands.
We began the morning session, which covered Extensions and Hair Additions.
Starting off with an introduction of TRUE2LIFE heat friendly synthetic hair. This is an innovative brand of hair that not only takes the shape of the item it is being molded too while it cools down but can be straightened out with the use of a flat iron to “erase” the curl. As most of you know, synthetic hair is not heat friendly and can’t be dyed so this was a revelation.
After an in-depth presentation about TRUE2LIFE styling guidelines the class gets some hands on practice! Specific instructions are patiently given to all of us to ensure that we have a secure way to anchor the ombre extension we are holding. Using a Sharpie Marker or a common tube of Mascara we can add some depth to the roots of the synthetic hair extensions.
At this point in our training we experienced a surprise visit from Laurence Bate, V.P. of Design and Product Production and Frank Campanella, Designer/Stylist.
We then continued our hands on training on curling TRUE2LIFE Synthetic Hair using a curling iron at 300 Degrees. Moving on to color selection, the group uses color swatches to match the hair to their neighbor.
Our Instructors enter into a competition so show us how many pieces of hair she is wearing..her final count was ELEVEN, but that was still not enough to win. 12 was the winning number. WOW!!!.
Next, we learn to use the Quick Response Codes (QR), on the packaging so that customers can easily link to how-to videos. Each video is specific to the product being scanned. We also learn that with TRUE2LIFE hair extensions you can actually create synthetic dreadlocks.
Next, we are introduced to HairDO Grand Extensions, moving to one piece extension systems, cutting techniques for hair extensions, and how to hide a seam at the top.
In clear and concise detail and demonstrations we discuss Loose Wave Extensions, ombre Extensions and Human Hair Highlight Extensions.
We learned about REMY hair which is human hair with cuticles going in the same direction which prevents tangles. We also discover much to our dismay that there are no regulatory or governing bodies to determine what percentage of hair is Remy versus non-remy in other products but that HairUWear uses an independent lab that can certify all of their Remy human hair products are 100% Remy human hair! This is a big deal because many brands can contain only a few Remy human hairs and claim to be Remy.
Our instructors make it clear to us that they desire that a regulatory body be formed to insure the integrity of hair being sold, advertised and marketed. This is something that The Hair Society intends to delve deeper into at a later day as we agree that it is a much needed addition to our industry and would reap great benefits to all concerned.
Before we know it, it’s lunchtime and as with everything else we have thus far experienced; it does not disappoint. A variety of foods ranging from chicken to pasta, steamed vegetables and delicious deserts, we feel as if we have been treated to a feast.
The afternoon session is all about wigs and we begin with an introduction to the HairUWear Hairdo Wig Collection and HairUWEAR Care Line. We are introduced to the new line of Gabor and Raquel Welch Collections and are shown various techniques for sewing and how to add or take away from a wig size. We next move on to the proper use of a wig, what NOT to do and the proper care and feeding of wigs. We are reminded to make sure that our clients are aware of what not to do with a wig in all aspects of ownership and maintenance.
The next thing on the well planned agenda was a tour of the facility. As I mentioned, HairUWear conducts many Road Trips throughout the year, but this is the first to be held at their Kansas Headquarters. We are taken through the warehouse, various offices and all aspects of this amazing facility with Laurence Bate as our tour guide. As we have experienced from the moment we began the day, all staff were friendly and welcoming and we thoroughly enjoyed the tour. The Hair Society truly recommends that everyone who possibly can sign up for one of their HairUWear On The Road Seminars. This is a not to be missed experience and one I was anxious to share with our membership as soon as we returned home.
We came to the end of this extremely interesting training seminar filled with new knowledge and a sense that we are among a group of people who really care about the products they sell and the clients that they serve. But, that was not all. For the very reasonable price of only $100 for the entire training day we left with Swag Bags filled with a wig, hair extensions, additions, wet products, brushes and other tools like clips and combs.
We also left possessing a lot more information than we had started with and a warm feeling of being welcomed into a special group of people who care about what they do and the quality of their Brand. We not only want to thank the entire staff at HairUWear but to give a special shout out to Anne and Jen the educators who not only work with HairUWear, but own their own well established studios. They and everyone we came into contact with went beyond the call of duty in making sure that we got a full day of valuable information and training in a field that we all care greatly about.
The Hair Society thanks everyone connected to HairUWear from its CEO, Michael Napolitano to everyone who is a part of this company, every staff member who made us feel so welcome and educated us so well, for this valuable experience and we assure you that we will not only encourage others to participate in your future training sessions but will return again ourselves. It was an amazing experience.
14865 W 105th St
Lenexa, Kansas 66215
Tel: (888) 748-9019